West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) pulled up around 20 big housing apartments and clubs in the city for causing noise pollution during the festival of Diwali.
WBPCB, under the state environment department, recently sat at a hearing with the presidents and secretaries of the apartments and clubs at Paribesh Bhavan and fined them for bursting banned sound crackers.
For the first time, the board forced presidents and secretaries of many apartments and clubs to give written undertakings assuring they would not commit the same mistake in future.
The board has also threatened to take legal action against presidents and secretaries of several apartments and clubs for not attending the hearing, ignoring WBPCB’s directives.
“The apartments and clubs violated rules stipulated in the Environment Protection Act, bursting banned crackers beyond the permissible limit of 90 decibel within a five -metre range. We sent letters to the presidents and secretaries of the multistoried complexes and local clubs through police stations asking them to appear at the hearing at Paribesh Bhavan. We have fined several apartments R1,000 each for causing noise pollution,” BK Dutta, chairman of WBPCB, said.
“The secretaries and presidents have given written undertakings assuring us they won’t violate environment rules in the future. But several apartments and clubs did not attend the hearing and we will take legal action against them,” Dutta said.
A senior environment engineer of the WBPCB said that the errant apartments and clubs are located mainly at Dum Dum, Lake Town, New Town, Girish Park, Central Avenue, Dinendra Street, Beliaghata, Behala and Sonarpur.
During and after Diwali patrolling units, comprising team of experts of the pollution control board, spotted rampant bursting of banned sound crackers inside these apartments and several clubs. The team members submitted a detailed report in this regard to the board chairman and its member secretary.
Requesting anonymity the engineer said that the board took up the matter seriously and sent letters to the presidents and secretaries through the respective police stations.
“This is for the first time our board made a precedent, taking strong action against housing apartments and clubs - the prime source of noise pollution using banned fireworks. This precedent will also alert the people and puja organisers in this regard,” he said.